Tag Archives | severed limbs

Should We Amputate Someone’s Healthy Limb If They So Desire?

How far should we go in enabling people to shape their own physical identities? The Guardian on the ethical quandary posed by Body Integrity Identity Disorder:

In January 2000, the mass media ran several stories about Robert Smith, a surgeon at the Falkirk and District Royal Infirmary who had amputated the legs of two patients at their own request and was planning a third amputation. The director of NHS trust running the hospital at which Smith works described the amputation of healthy limbs as “inappropriate”; since then, no British hospital has performed a voluntary amputation.

The first documented case of BIID dates back to a medical textbook published in 1785, by the French surgeon and anatomist Jean-Joseph Sue, who described the case of an Englishman who fell in love with a one-legged woman, and wanted to become an amputee himself so that he could win her heart. He offered a surgeon 100 guineas to amputate his leg and, when the surgeon refused, forced him to perform the operation at gunpoint.

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Clean-Shaven, Severed Leg Washes Ashore In St. Petersburg, Florida

footThe beachfront find raises a host of questions. Why shave your leg if it’s going to be cut off? Or, why shave a severed leg if you’re going to toss it into the ocean? For what it’s worth, this area also saw multiple brutal attacks by people who believed themselves to be vampires in 2011. The Tampa Bay Times reports:

Police continued a search for clues Wednesday in a mystery that began Tuesday morning when Canadian tourists found a severed human leg behind a waterfront home. The leg washed ashore near the Bay Vista Recreation Center. Police believe it was in the water for a day or two. They believe it was a right leg that may have belonged to an overweight white female who was dismembered.

Two marine units on Wednesday searched waters from Tierra Verde to the Tropical Shores area, said St. Petersburg police spokesman Mike Puetz. Officers did not find any other body parts, he said.

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